Our Project staff regularly monitor the activities which we fund in the villages and in October they undertook a detailed survey of a sample of the first aid workers who are the key people involved in improving children's health in the villages. They surveyed 10 first aid workers in 8 of our villages. This survey helped us to get a better picture of the activities of the first aid workers and the way in which they contribute to improving health in the villages. In total 80 patients had been treated and 20% of these had been transferred to the local hospitals. Almost half of the patients treated are children under 10 years old. The most common illnesses treated are diarhhoea, chest infections, malaria and inflamed eyes. Another important part of their work is immunization and they have participated in 18 vaccination campaigns against polio, measles and meningitis - this is of incalculable benefit in protecting children from these potentially killer diseases and makes a huge contribution to improving the health of the children in the villages. The first aid workers also reported that their main activity in the villages is raising health awareness and advising villagers on adopting hygienic methods including the use of latrines.
Darfur is presently suffering an outbreak of yellow fever and there is no vaccination or treatment available. The only protection from the transmitting mosquito comes through mosquito nets. It is therefore fortunate that we have provided mosquito nets to all of the poor households which we support in our villages and so their children are being protected from the threat of yellow fever. We feel so grateful at this to all of you who have supported us that we have been able to help these families to keep their children safe and healthy.
The 55 first aid workers trained in April are now active in their villages providing vital assistance in emergencies and providing on-going health education focusing particularly on helping mothers to improve the nutrition of their young children. For the first time mothers have guidance on how to feed their babies and infants and simple messages can have a marked impact on reducing malnutrition.
Another intervention which KIDS FOR KIDS undertakes to improve the health of children is the provision of mosquito nets as malaria is a major killer of children. We are pleased to report that 436 mosquito nets have been distributed in the last few months to the poorest families which we are supporting in the six villages which have been adopted by KIDS FOR KIDS during 2011/12. Thus 30 households in Elfaki Ali, 52 in Umlayuna, 40 in Seweilinga, 21 in Hilat Khabir, 22 in Amar Jaded and 39 in Mugabil have received mosquito nets with each household receiving 2 mosquito nets. The families have also received training in re-treating the nets to ensure their continued effectiveness. Based on past experience we are hopeful that we shall see a significant reduction in the incidence of malaria amongst the children of these families.
Key actors in improving children's health in the villages in Darfur are the first aid workers who, in addition to providing front line treatment for minor ailments, are actively engaged in health education. A very important aspect of this is working with mothers in the care of their children focusing particularly on nutrition as so many of the children are malnourished, and this is at least partly due to mothers' lack of knowledge of the nutritious qualities of foods which are around in the village. So it is good to be able to report that 55 volunteer first aid workers from 31 villages received their training from 1-15 April. This means that all of the 60 villages supported by KIDS FOR KIDS have at least one trained first aid worker and most of them have two first aid workers so that they are able to support each other. On completion of their training the first aid workers were provided with a starter kit containing basic equipment and medicines. Each first aid worker was also provided with a cross bred donkey to enable them to reach people in need quickly.
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